In recent ‘First Words’ our Vice Chair of Governors, Mr Howe, highlighted some of the school’s historical records from 100 and 50 years ago, mainly relating to extra-curricular activities and events. Many Old Laurentians will look back at these records and reflect on the events of 1968 or other memories of their own time at the school. I hope that in another 50 years’ time, today’s students will review the records from 2018 and be reminded of their own experiences at school.
I am delighted that the pattern of school debates recorded in both 1918 and 1968 continues to take place, with competitions within and between the different age groups. As in the earlier years, the debate titles focus on topical events. It is interesting to contemplate whether, in 50 years’ time, readers will relate to this year’s sixth form debate on ‘This House believes that all news is fake’, or if the current political significance of the subject will be forgotten in the mists of time.
The cycling expedition to the Bedworth Charity Coalpit of 1918 is also reflected in 2018’s activities, with our Bronze Cycling DofE training expedition which took place in March, together with Bronze, Silver and Gold walking expeditions. In 2018, we have also had various curriculum-based trips taking place: the Geography fieldwork trip to London, the combined Music/English trip to Birmingham and the ever popular MFL trip to Paris – all of which should be far less dusty for today’s students than their predecessors’ exploration of the Bedworth Coalpit, but no less educational.
The air raid work of LSS pupils from 1918 has, fortunately, been replaced by modern community activities such as the sixth form science mentoring programme with Brooke School and the wide-ranging Sports Relief activities, where a huge number of staff and students are undertaking a range of sporting activities in order to raise funds to support different international, national and local charities.
There are still close links with Rugby High School, although today’s students were very disappointed when the inter-school disco in March 2018 had to be cancelled due to heavy snow – but I would imagine that the snowballing and sledging which undoubtedly replaced it will be remembered in the future. Even the home-made cakes from the Hobbies Exhibition of 1968 continue to be reflected in school in 2018, but now through the Bake Off and MasterChef competitions organised by Mr Sutcliffe and our catering partners, AIP.
So many links can be made between the school records from 1918, 1968 and 2018 – the 1918 influenza epidemic and today’s meningitis vaccinations; the 1968 Mathematical Society and the 2018 Maths Olympiad/Kangaroo. Yet activities also change over these long periods of time. Some 2018 activities would probably have been regarded as distinctly odd, if not completely incomprehensible, to the school’s earliest students – the dressing up for World Book Day and the Wear a Hat for Brain Tumour Research Day, for example, let alone the Robotics Competition and the Coding Club.
Of course, comparing 2018 with historical records at this point in the year can only cover January to March. With another nine months of the year yet to come, there will be many further trips, concerts and activities taking place, which will be recorded in The Weekly Word.
Continuing to look to the future, I hope that Old Laurentians in 2068 will at that time share their own recollections of 2018 and will appreciate both the continuity and change which work together to form the long history of Lawrence Sheriff School. The whole school community of 2018 sends them our very best wishes as they do so.
Past student and one of Lawrence Sheriff's longest serving teachers.
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